Accidents and Substance Abuse

Accidents and Substance Abuse

Accidents and Substance Abuse

Obviously, there’s a strong connection between accidents and substance abuse. Accidents are the result of risky behavior, hazardous environments, and inattention to what is going on around you. Over confidence, laziness, and fearlessness can also contribute to accidents.

Accidents and substance abuse are strongly connected because of the way that drugs and alcohol can affect the brain. Substance abuse can affect judgment, perception, and reaction time. In addition, people under the influence of drugs do not consider the consequences of their actions and behaviors, which can place both themselves and the people around them at risk of an accident.

Accidents and Substance Abuse: Injury

Accidents and substance abuse often result in injury. Impairments in reaction time, reasoning, coordination, judgment and memory as a result of alcohol or drug use increase a person’s risk of being injured. Certain substances, like alcohol, cocaine, and ecstasy and other hallucinogens, have been shown to make a person willing to take risks and become disinhibited. This affects the choices they make and the situations they become involved in. These situations can cause injuries not only for the person who is under the influence, but also for people around them. In addition, accidents and substance abuse can result in a delay in medical treatment. People under the influence of drugs and alcohol are less likely to seek medical care when they become injured, either because they are afraid of the consequences of seeking care while they are intoxicated or because they do not realize the full extent of the injury. Drugs and alcohol often mask the pain of injuries.

Accidents and Substance Abuse: Workplace Accidents

The high prevalence of accidents and substance abuse is the reason that many companies require drug tests before they will hire someone. They understand that substance abuse is the cause of accidents, injuries, and lost work time. Consider these facts:

  • 40 percent of industrial fatalities are linked to substance abuse.
  • 47 percent of occupational accidents can be attributed to substance abuse.
  • Substance abuse often leads to theft and crime in the workplace.

Nearly 75 percent of all adult illicit drug users are employed, as are most binge and heavy alcohol users. This means that in nearly every workplace, there is a chance that there is at least one employee who has a substance abuse problem.

Workplace accidents are a serious public health issue that contributes to loss of wages, productivity, medical costs, and injury and death rates. In the United States alone, workplace injury and illnesses cost more than 100 billion annually.

Accidents and Substance Abuse: Other Accidents

Impairment by alcohol or other drugs increases the risk of both a motor vehicle accident and the severity and outcome of the injuries. Statistics show that almost 40 percent of all youth traffic fatalities are directly linked to substance abuse.

In addition, accidents and substance abuse can be linked to the manufacture of certain drugs in the home. . Methamphetamine is manufactured in home-based labs that are hazardous, toxic places with a very high risk of explosion or fires.

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Inhalant drug abuse

Inhalant drug abuse

Inhalant drug abuse

Inhalant drug abuse is known as the abuse of chemical inhalants to achieve a feeling of euphoria, intoxication, or in other words a “high”. Inhalant drug abuse is better known as “huffing” for the way in which the chemical inhalants are used. There are thousands of commercial, household, and medical products that can use for huffing or inhalant drug abuse. Inhalant drug abuse can become addicting although its more grave effects are permanent brain damage, organ damage or even sudden death.

Inhalant drug abuse is extremely popular among younger teens and children. Huffing or inhalant drug abuse is an extremely common form of getting “high. Inhalant drug abuse or huffing is the fourth common abused substance used by young teens or children from grades 8-12 right after alcohol, marijuana, and cigarettes. Around 17 million Americans have experienced inhalant drug abuse or huffed at least once in their lives and by 8th grade one in five young teens or children has experimented with inhalant drug abuse at least once.

There are multiple types of different chemical inhalants that can be used for huffing. Inhalant drug abuse can be explained for being so common by the ease and availability in which each inhalant can be found. The types of inhalants that are used for huffing can be separated into four different categories: Gases, nitrates, aerosols, and volatile solvents. All of these categories of inhalants when used severely affect the central nervous system of a person. Some of the most common volatile solvents for inhalant drug abuse are but not limited to:

  • Dry cleaning fluid
  • Felt tip markers
  • Gasoline
  • Glue
  • Paint remover and Paint thinner

Some of the aerosols which are more common around the household kitchen etc. that are used for inhalant drug abuse are but not limited to:

  • Spray deodorant
  • Spray paint
  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • Hair spray

Gases are probably the hardest to acquire for those who are huffing. Some of the gases that are used for inhalant drug abuse are but not limited to:

  • Nitrous Oxide also known as “whip its”
  • Butane (lighters)
  • Whip Cream containers which also contain nitrous oxide
  • Ether
  • Chloroform
  • Propane

Almost all of these chemicals used for inhalant drug abuse cause intoxication and euphoria. Nitrates are an exception with huffers or inhalant drug abusers describing huffing nitrates as increasing sexual function and/or sensations. Some nitrates can be found in household products but most are prescribed or illegal. For instance some nitrates used for inhalant drug abuse are but not limited to:

  • Cyclohexyl nitrate (room deodorizers)
  • Butyl nitrate (illegal street drug)
  • Isoamyl/amyl nitrate (prescription drug for heart pain) These are also sold on the street and are known as “poppers”

The way inhalant drug abuse works is the chemicals listed above are inhaled and absorbed through the lungs and from there move throughout the body and into the brain within minutes. The person due to inhalant drug abuse may experience slurred speech, act dizzy or drunk, and euphoria. Inhalant drug abuse only last for a few minutes or even seconds. There are multiple health risks that come along with inhalant drug abuse of huffing and they are but not limited to:

  • Attention problems
  • Brain and nervous system damage
  • Death by choking
  • Death by suffocation
  • Delirium
  • Muscle weakness
  • Dementia
  • Spasticity
  • Impaired judgment
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatal accidents

Inhalant drug abuse can be extremely dangerous and even fatal. Sometimes a person due to inhalant use can “huff” once and die. This is known as a sniffing death or sudden death due to huffing inhalants.

Inhalant drug abuse is something that is not widely recognized as being a problem it is good to get the facts and to be educated especially if you children.